BRISTOL — Westerly High's offensive line has one mission when it comes to any defense it faces.
At least that's how senior guard Xavier Webster sees it.
"We want to push them as far as we can, nothing really much else we can do," Webster, a senior guard, said following Westerly's 28-7 Division II-B win over Mt. Hope on Friday night. "We are not the biggest line, but we are definitely the best conditioned, that's what I believe."
Westerly's line of Webster, Mitch McLeod, Chad Mayne, Matt Garafola, Zach Morin and Greg Gorman had another impressive night as Westerly scored on three of its first four possessions, all via the running game.
Junior running back Zach Tuck was the primary beneficiary, rushing for 222 yards on 22 carries with a pair of touchdowns. It was the second straight week Tuck has rushed for 222 yards. He has six touchdowns in the past two games.
"I thought we played well tonight, but we have a lot to improve on," Morin, a junior center, said. "I think we have to get more physical and I think sometimes we lose our focus when we get a lead. We really have to focus on giving it our all all four quarters. I think overall we did what we had to do today and we are on to Tolman next week."
Westerly (3-1, 2-1 Division II-B) received excellent field position on its first scoring drive. After a Mt. Hope punt traveled minus-4 yards, the Bulldogs took possession at the Huskies 48. Tuck ripped off a 24-yard run on the ensuing four-playing scoring drive.
He scored from 12 yards out and didn't face a Mt. Hope tackler until the goal line. He ran over him for the score with 5:51 left.
Westerly's next possession went 59 yards in 10 plays, with Drew Mason scoring on a sweep around the right side from 5 yards out. That made it 14-0 with 10:27 left in the first half.
After gaining its initial first down of the game on the ensuing series, Mt. Hope (2-2, 1-2) fumbled it away with Marcus Haik recovering at the Huskies 33.
Westerly moved the 33 yards in eight plays with Tuck scoring from 7 yards out, going over the right side untouched. Westerly had to overcome a sack and a holding penalty that wiped out a scoring run by quarterback Lance Williams during the series.
Chad Mayne's third extra point of the night made it 21-0 with 4:21 remaining in the half.
Mt. Hope scored on its first drive of the second half when quarterback Aidan Ramaglia found Bruce McGuire just beyond the Westerly secondary for a 46-yard scoring play.
But Luke Marley responded with a 61-yard kickoff return for Westerly. The senior receiver started down the right sideline and worked his way across the field before he was tackled at the Mt. Hope 23.
The Bulldogs were unable to pick up a first down, however, and turned the ball over on downs.
Westerly added its final touchdown with 1:02 left in the third quarter on a 29-yard TD run by Williams. The quarterback started up the middle and broke to his left, outrunning the Huskies to the pylon at the goal line.
Westerly led 28-7.
"I thought we played OK. We didn't play great," Westerly coach Stanley Dunbar said. "They did a good job of shutting down our passing game. We could have come out with more intensity throughout the game. But a game on the road against a tough division opponent and it's a win — I'm going to take that at the end of the day."
Mt. Hope did drive to the Westerly 3-yard line with a first down early in the fourth quarter. But Mason, who plays linebacker, had a tackle for a loss and defensive back Alex Brophy knocked down a pass in the end zone on fourth down to end the scoring threat.
Mason also ended the Huskies' final possession, going low to snag an interception.
Westerly's standout defensive end/tight end Gorman left the game with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter with an injury after a crunching hit on a Mt. Hope blocker.
"He's going to be all right," Dunbar said. "We just wanted to take some precautions. He's a kid that has a bright future. He could have returned to the game, but it my decision not to. We were up and we have young kids that need the reps."
Gorman has a commitment to play baseball at Bryant University in 2022.
Westerly returns home next Friday, hosting Tolman at 7 p.m.
— Keith Kimberlin